Never turn your back

The only things which didn't survived my absence were the front door plants.
The only victims in my absence were the front door plants.

The time to go home arrived last Monday, and once again I cried in the airplane–after crying at my mom’s house and at the gate of our flight—when I saw a Colombian flag waving in the air through the window during take off. You would think that after 10 years of living abroad it gets easier; it doesn’t. Actually, it gets harder because the older I get, my heart grows bigger and I love my mother and my family even more.

Another love that grows when I am away from my country, is the love for the small things that add to daily life; especially the love for the beauty salons and the help around the house. Even though I can’t see myself living in Colombia anytime soon, I know that I will grow old there. I already told my husband that we are retiring in my home country, because I am not willing to see myself in gray hair or vacuuming our house. 

That’s the enchantment of Colombia, going to the beauty salon every week and having a nice lady help around the house is not a luxury: it is a women’s right.

But before my hair turns gray and I lose my eyesight, I am back into my real life shoes and ready to tackle the logistics challenge of my son’s VPK (Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten). Starting August 24th, I have to master the ability to get him ready for school every day. I consider myself a well-organized person, but for the past two years of my son’s preschool–which was only two days a week, making breakfast, feeding the doggies, preparing my little guy’s lunch bag, giving him a shower, brushing his teeth, and getting him dressed and out the door was Mission Impossible. Now, add to the mix that I have to take a shower–before I used to take him to school in my PJs without any dignity, blow dry my hair, put make-up on, and dress professional to work at our agency every day as well.

Just writing about it makes me queasy. I am sure my son will see the “face of the devil” when I scream at him to get out the door and into the car, but he’ll survive, as we all did when we were little. I will pack a lunch for him every day that other kids will envy, rather than the ethnic food my Granny used to pack for me. Sorry Abuelita!

As I promised last week, I am going to tell you how I found the house and the pups. As you can see in the picture above, my front door planters got incinerated by the blazing sun of the summer afternoons. Before I left, I gave my hubby instructions for taking care of things around the house. At the time, adding “water the plants” to the list seemed too much, so I just conceded the defeat. This is a man who has owned several business and managed hundreds of employees, and yet can walk every day past the plants without noticing their screams for a drop of water.

Our house was in very good shape thanks to the janitorial service I arranged before I left. They came two days before my husband left the States to join us in Bogotá, so he didn’t have time to destroy it, again. When I started checking room by room he whispered in my ear all proud “See? The bed is made, and there are no dirty dishes or clothes”. It only took me only seven years of marriage, but I did it. He finally learned the lesson!

And the pups, well… somebody shredded my husband’s favorite workout mat like Godzilla. There were pieces all over the office like feathers from a pillow fight. My neighbors, in charge of the dog sitting duty, emailed me during the weekend and told me what happened. Immediately, I understood the lesson that Rusty wanted to teach us–because I know he was the author of the “protest demonstration” and not Sasha. My husband was the last to leave the house so I think this is what Rusty thought: “Mom left us almost a month ago and now you too? Ok, we’ll see where you work out now!

Remember, never turn your back on the people–or dogs—you love, because they know better than anyone, where to bite to hurt you the most.

Thanks for reading and sharing,

Xiomara Spadafora

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